EEPA Summary of the situation report – 100 days into the Tigray Conflict

Eritrea Horn Situation Tigray

(Source: EEPA) –

EEPA sends daily situation reports on the evolving situation in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The situation reports can be found here. To receive the situation reports, please send an e-mail to info@eepa.be

Summary of the situation – 100 days into the Tigray Conflict, 12 February 2021

War broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on 4 November 2020, spinning into a regional war and humanitarian crisis. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously requested complete access to deliver humanitarian aid, stating that the incremental access granted thus far is insufficient. The situation needs urgent action as:

  • 4.5 million peoplein Tigray are in need of humanitarian support.
  • A large part of Tigray (central and eastern) is moving to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Phase 4, emergency, which is the last stage before famine.
  • At least 52.000 civilianshave died in Tigray since4 Nov; large scale massacres of civilians in places such as Aksum and Mai Kadraanda high incidence of violence, killings, cruelties,including rapeare reported.
  • The UN states that up to 20.000 Eritrean refugees, recognised and under international protection, have disappearedand it is reported that 10.000 are deported to Eritrea, the country from which they fled.
  • 2 refugee camps under international protection, Hitsats and Shimelba, have been systematically destroyed, as confirmed by satellite images. The UN has not been able to access the camps for assessment. The latest images of Shimelba dated 27 January show 721 structures damaged and 531 destroyed. 99% of damaged buildings are catastrophically or extensively damaged; refugees are unable to return to these camps.
  • 80-90% of the health centres accessed by Médecins Sans Frontièreswere not functional due to the war.Patients cannot access health facilities. Tigray was in full COVID-19 lockdown before the start of the war.
  • Cultural heritage, churches and mosques such as the al-Nejashi mosque, has been destroyed and/or looted.
  • Large parts of Tigray are not under the control of the federally-appointed Tigray administration. Northern areas of Tigray are under Eritrean control. Foreign occupying forces from Eritrea are sent to Tigray with the western parts are under Amhara administrative control and parts of central Tigray are controlled by the Tigray regional forces. The provisional government of Tigray has little control beyond Mekelle.
  • Possibly as many as 3000 young Somali soldiers have been sent to Eritrea for training and were sent into the war in Tigray without their consentand the knowledge of their relatives.

There is an urgent need for:

  1. Complete and unimpeded humanitarian access granted by the Government of Ethiopia. Failing to do so is a clear violation of International Law. All options to open up a corridor must be elaborated
  2. International protection ofEritrean refugees in Tigray and in Addis Ababa, to where refugees have also fled; investigation into the disappearance of 20.000 Eritrean refugees;
  3. The immediate unconditional withdrawal of Eritrean and all foreign troops from Tigray;
  4. Access for independent fact-finding missions to investigate alleged war crimes of all parties involved, as well as investigation of destruction of churches, mosques and other cultural heritageas war crimes;
  5. Access for independent investigation into the situation of women and girls amidst allegations of widespread sexual violenceand rape as a weapon of war;
  6. Strengthening of all diplomatic tools and structures within the broader regional situationfor mediation;
  7. Restoration of communication channels  in Tigray and full access for media.

 

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